Home > Movie, Review > Movie Review: Kamikaze Girls (2004) Japan Shimotsuma Monogatari

Movie Review: Kamikaze Girls (2004) Japan Shimotsuma Monogatari

Netflix recommended this to me after I gave Battle Royale a 5 star rating.  I’m starting to have a thing for Japanese movies, and after reading the description I knew I had to get it.

Summary:
Highschooler Momoko may live in the countryside, but she’s big city fashion at heart.  Her babydoll, Rococo style frilly dresses, parasols, and bonnets make her stick out like a sore thumb at her school.  Ichigo is a member of a rough, tough girl biker gang.  Their paths cross when Momoko sells some of her dad’s Versace knock-offs to acquire money for more dresses.  A tentative friendship develops, affecting both girls forever.

Review:
The box for Kamikaze Girls claims it’s a Japanese comedy.  Although live-action, it definitely employs some of the zaniness seen in comic Anime films, so if that’s not your style, consider yourself warned.  I enjoy zany humor though, so I appreciated it here.

The acting is great.  The actresses playing Momoko and Ichigo play perfectly off of each other.  Ichigo walks tough and speaks gruff, while Momoko gently reprimands.

Japanese fashion is highlited here, making for excellent eye candy throughout the film.  Ichigo’s clothes are Easternized versions of Western punk fashion.  Momoko’s richly styled frilly dresses definitely hearken back to the 18th century France inspiration.

What really makes the film though is the plot.  This is a movie about friendship between young women, and their friendship doesn’t revolve around talking about men.  They support each other, instead, in making decisions about who they will be.  Instead of it seeming forced that they weren’t talking about men or sex or drugs, it felt completely natural.  They just had more important things in their life right now.  Should Ichigo stay in her growing gang or strike out on her own?  Should Momoko try to break into fashion design?  Can a Rococo girl also ride a scooter?

If you like quirky foreign films and want a solid friendship movie, look no further than Kamikaze Girls.  You won’t be disappointed.

4 out of 5 stars

Source: Netflix

Buy It

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